Universities left to assess impact of government u-turn over A-level results

University graduates
There are questions about what happens to students who were refused places before the grades were revised Credit: PA

Universities in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire are trying to assess how their admissions procedures will be affected by the government's u-turn over A-level results.

Tens of thousands of students are set to see their results increased after ministers announced that grades would be based on teachers’ assessments rather than a controversial algorithm devised by regulator Ofqual.

It followed a wave of criticism from students and headteachers and a backlash by Tory MPs.

But, while the news will be celebrated by those who see their marks improve, it poses a headache for universities, many of which withdrew offers from students who thought they had missed out on their predicted grades before the u-turn.

Leeds University said it was "working through" what the announcement meant "for our students and offer holders".

Leeds Beckett University pledged to "honour our commitment to applicants who meet the terms of their original offer and those who applied through clearing".

But it said there would be an "exception" in a small number of courses with limited numbers.

York University said it was "working hard" to assess the impact of the decision.

The university tweeted: "We are awaiting further details and we will provide more information and guidance to students as soon as we can."

Similar statements were made by Sheffield and Bradford universities.

In a statement on its website, Sheffield Hallam University said it wanted to be as "flexible, fair and understanding as possible".

But it admitted that there may be cases where students who should have been awarded a place would miss out.

It said: "There may be a very small number of cases where we cannot [honour an offer] due to constraints such as the set number of available work placements for certain health or teaching courses. In this case we will offer you a place at the next available intake."

Lincoln University said it was a "very stressful time for students who are unsure as to the best way forward", tweeting: "We are planning to contact all our new students over the next couple of days to reassure them."

Huddersfield University urged students who previously had places rejected to call its clearing helpline.